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Business Balance & Bliss

Book Review by Denise Phillips

Chapter 1: Introducing the B3 Method

· What is Work-Life Harmony?

· 3 Key areas:

o How to be more present and productive.

o How to find and maintain confidence and tame the ego.

o How to build personal connections.

Chapter 2: Finding Your Balance

· Balance is not about making everything even; instead, it’s a means from which to build and grow.

· Health Issues- Those that work more than 55 hours a week have a 15% greater risk of heart attack and a 33% greater risk of stroke compared to those working 35-to-40-hour weeks.

· Business is important and you want to succeed, but it is no reason to sacrifice health.

· Find creative things to help create balance in your life.

· What activity, hobby or interest makes you happy?

o Is it one thing or several?

o Why don’t you do it on a regular basis?

· How much Balance do you Need?

o It varies for everyone-focus on quality not quantity.

Chapter 3: Being Present- How being mindful can lead to being more productive.

· How often do we step back and take stock of how we make people feel?

· There is so much noise in the world that distracts us and keeps us from being fully engaged.

· If we were more in the present during our workday rather than trying to multi-task, could we produce more and would our decisions be better?

· One of our biggest distractions in business is our desire to multi-task. However, our brains are not wired to multi-task. It takes 4 times longer to recognize new things, when you bounce back and forth. You may believe you are doing more by juggling several things at once, but it takes more of your time, not less.

· Your intelligence can also take a hit with multi-tasking. People who multi-task during cognitive tasks had a temporary drop in IQ scores. Men by 15 points, Women by 5 points. The mental effect was like staying up all night.

· Research shows that any interruptions, no matter the source or duration, changes how you work.

· We need to change mindset- If we can work, we think we should, because there is so much work to do. However, we must not give in to the convenience and temptation of technology and, instead, learn how to balance the demands and pressure so that we don’t work 24 hours a day.

· The goal is to be more present and mindful, thus improve productivity in Business. You can accomplish this by focusing on 3 main areas.

o Time Management

o Mindfulness

o Inspiration

· Balance Strategies for Time Management.

o Plan every Day- If you are aware of what you want to accomplish and keep it handy, you have a constant reminder that your attention is needed elsewhere.

o Identify where you waste the most time. Also, identify what times of day you have more or less energy. This may help you prioritize which jobs you need to focus on early in the day and which can be saved for later.

o Divide your day into two halves. Your energy and discipline are often highest in the morning, so reserve that time for larger tasks that require more mental effort.

§ For Example, block your calendar to get your own work done in the morning and schedule conference calls and meetings in the afternoon.

o Always take your lunch break- You need to take time to re-energize.

o Work in 90-minute segments.

o Take a 5-minute break to re-center before the next meeting.

o Set up Temporary electronic Walls.

· Mindfulness- To be mindful, your thinking needs to change. It is not about being present all the time, no matter what, but rather about being able to turn on that laser beam of attention when it’s needed and not being so easily distracted that the beam gets shut off at inappropriate times.

o How to be mindful?

§ Practice active listening.

· Maintain eye contact

· Don’t be a sentence grabber.

· Use brief, but positive phrases to maintain the conversation.

· Probe

§ Practice meditation- It often doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to center yourself and be more aware.

§ Give your brain a power nap.

§ Focus on your emotions.

· Inspiration- make your work space a source of inspiration. Make it a reflection of your interests, personality and needs.

o Balance- Take mental breaks.

§ Step away from the pinball machine.

§ Create your mantra

§ Take a Balance break

o Get some Natural Light

§ Get close to the window

§ Use Blue Light

Chapter 4: Building Confidence- How to find and express your hidden voice.

· Confidence- You must believe in your idea, have trust in your plan of execution, and have faith that your hard work and perseverance will pay off.

o 8 Strategies to confront to overcome some of the main barriers that keep you from being confident.

§ Fearing Failure

§ Overthinking

§ Thinking you can do everything

§ Thinking you can’t do anything

§ Not knowing your purpose

§ Having trouble standing out

§ Understanding your expertise

§ Lacking Support

o Overthinking- sometimes the less you know or think about a situation and just go with your instinct without overthinking it, the better off you will be.

§ Focus on one task at a time.

§ Look at the big picture

§ Break it down

§ Assess yourself- Make a list of what you are good at and where you think you fall short.

o Thinking you can’t do anything.

§ Fake it until you make it. Not that you should be untruthful, but rather that you are convincing yourself that given time, your skills, and your confidence will emerge.

§ Focus on what you know and the rest will follow.

§ Have an open dialogue with yourself. Be honest: What are you good at? Or must comfortable doing?

§ Focus on learning rather than on performance.

o Not knowing your purpose- If you can’t answer the question of why you do something, then you will never have the confidence to carry it out.

§ Redirect your energy- redirect to your purpose.

§ Sometimes you have to define your purpose.

Chapter 5: The Power of Personal Connection

· Introverts- Telltale signs.

o You enjoy time to yourself.

o Your best time for thinking happens when you are alone

o You usually are the last person to raise your hand

o You don’t offer your opinion-others have to ask for it.

o You receive more calls and emails than you send out.

o You don’t engage in small talk

· Balance for Introverts

o Find a Mentor

o Be a mentor yourself

o Work with Introverts

· Extroverts- Estimate up to 75% of the population. Signs of:

o Energized by social contact.

o They are often a voice for large brainstorming sessions and generate ideas by talking out loud with a group of people.

o Good at connecting the dots.

o Form quick opinions based on the information.

o Looking for ways to move forward and improve.

o They like social interactions-Like networking, seminars and training.

· Balance for Extroverts

o Get a sponsor

o Work with fellow extroverts

· Could you be an Ambivert???

Chapter 6: Applying the B3 Method- Strategies to help you and your business succeed.

· How do we help our brains learn needed things?

o Moderate-intensity exercise (jogging, powerwalking, swimming) vs not doing any activity.

o Brain exercises- which helps focus attention.

· Balance activity- When you make it important it becomes important.

· The work-life harmony will ebb and flow in your life like the rhythm of music. Don’t get down on yourself if you miss one time- just know you can make it up or you may decide it’s just not in the cards because of other demands. Either way don’t lose your over all vision for maintaining it long term.

· Get SMART about Your Balance

o Set the overall goal for yourself.

o Then to achieve that goal, you put SMART into place.


§ Specific- Details matter. When, Where and how long

§ Measurable- How can you determine if you are hitting the goal you set in front of you.

§ Achievable- Is your Balance something that is physically available to you? If you create a goal that is insurmountable, you will get frustrated and give up. So, keep it simple.

§ Realistic- Is this a Balance you can easily adopt?

§ Timebound- Make sure that whatever goal you set for yourself has deadlines. After that time, you go back and reevaluate whether this goal is working and whether you need to make modifications to achieve it during the next twelve months.

· The key to workplace performance is not just money, but appreciation and support. When we feel like we matter and our work makes a difference, we are happier. And a happy worker is a better worker and a healthier one.

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